Psychological Society of South Africa

Eco-psychology: Using bonsai to heal and find meaning

By Dr. Caroll Hermann In a recent episode of Binnelanders, a popular Afrikaans soapie on kykNet, Iva, the psychologist overcame her grief of not being able to have children by planting a tree. Some bonsaiists “make”a tree in remembrance of loved ones who have passed on or as a celebration of the birth of their…

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The psychology of hope and earning a livelihood in South Africa

Dr Gloria Marsay South Africa continues to face an economic-socio-political crisis. The harsh reality of South Africa’s economic crisis suggests one of the highest Gini Coefficients in the world. Unemployment figures continue to rise. The draft policy issued by the Department of Higher Education and Training reveals that 68% of South Africa’s unemployed are in…

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The 5 As: A checklist to step up for mental health

By Suntosh R Pillay It’s no secret that mental health has always been the Cinderella of the health system: locked up in a dark basement hoping never to be found. Or, when mental health does get a few good moments in the limelight, like Cinderella’s carriage it turns into a pumpkin at midnight and becomes…

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Rape: When the personal becomes political

By Rebecca Helman Rape is both personal and political. It is a deeply personal violation committed by one person against another. But it is also a symptom of a social context in which inequality, disempowerment and violence continue to shape the daily experiences of millions. Within this context it becomes almost impossible to separate the…

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Jon Qwelane – apologise and pay up!

A homophobic columnist is still avoiding responsibility, eight years on. The Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA) – a friend of the court in this matter – is shocked and dismayed at the outcome of last week’s court hearing at which Jon Qwelane was granted an indefinite postponement in a hate speech case concerning an…

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Raising hair, crowning glory: A poem to thank Pretoria Girls High

By Thirusha Naidu Raising Hair, Crowning Glory Thank you Pretoria Girls High You have introduced us To future heroes. Yesterday, asleep In the soft arms of their mothers Now roused. Coldly, by bleached fingers, from childhood sleep. Dragged by the hair, Protesting, into womanhood . Thank you Pretoria Girls High By your Amazing Grace Africa’s…

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We’re all born naked, everything else is (a) drag

By Pierre Brouard When Caitlyn Jenner recently visited the Academy for Young Writers, an LGBTI-friendly school in a working-class New York neighbourhood, she was expecting some flak. In particular, from two youngsters, living non-binary lives, who had been vocal in their criticisms of her. Caitlyn was privileged, they said, had made disparaging remarks about “men…

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Lessons on language while in Beijing

By Curwyn Mapaling Naturally, when you attend a symposium or a conference in another country, you expect to learn, to share, to travel, and to explore. There’s so much to learn when entering a foreign country for the first time – everything is new, everything is interesting. I was recently selected to attend the Yenching…

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Grand racism vs petty racism

By Sduduzo Mncwabe In South Africa racism and psychology had a difficult marriage consummated by Professor Hendrik Verwoerd in 1948 and dissolved by Professor Sathasivan “Saths” Cooper and company when the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA) was founded in 1994. As a profession we have gone from having “one of our own” construct the…

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Virginity bursaries: Weighing the pros and cons

By Nandisa Tushini The recent outrage over the bursary scheme that seeks to fund those who can prove their virginity – the “maiden bursary” – is controversial but not without its merits. Despite some support from young women, many organisations such as People Opposing Women Abuse, Lawyers for Human Rights, feminist groups and even the…

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